Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Four Vehicles Involved in Crash

OPP say it could have been a lot worse.

As many as four vehicles were involved in that accident yesterday afternoon on Portage Avenue in Fort Frances.

Constable Anne McCoy says it started when the driver of a pick up truck suffered a medical distress a couple of blocks earlier.

McCoy says the truck first struck a sign near Third Street East before coming into collision with a vehicle stopped at the traffic lights at 2nd Street East.

The vehicle continue to drive on the sidewalk, avoiding three people who jumped out of the way before returning to the roadway, missing on oncoming vehicle before colliding with two parked vehicles in the area of the United Native Friendship Centre.

One vehicle was pushed onto the walkway in front of the Centre.

The driver of the truck, a 65-year-old man and a woman inside one of the parked vehicle were taken to hospital for treatment.

Police Investigating Death Of Baby

Provincial Police are investigating the sudden death of a six-week-old baby girl in Big Trout Lake.

Officers were called to the nursing station Monday morning where the the child was pronounced dead.

She's been identified as Shantelle Sainnawap.

A post mortem is being done in Toronto.

MPP Sees Need For Native Police Service To Continue

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell is pleased to hear Treaty Three Police Service is fighting to stay open.

Campbell says First Nations policing is a must-have in northwestern Ontario.

Campbell is hopeful the provincial and federal governments will also understand the importance of the police service and provide appropriate funding.

Treaty 3's new police services board has said it plans to meet more frequently with the expectation of coming to a resolution officers and their union can agree upon.

More Registration For Organ Donors Sought

Fort Frances is among communities in Ontario with a high number of organ and tissue donor registrations.

The Trillium Gift of Life Network says 42 per cent of residents have registered, compared with 23 per cent in all of Ontario.

Vice-president Versha Prakash would like the figure higher to help those on waiting lists for transplants.

Prakash says about 15-hundred people are currently on waiting lists.

To register as an organ and tissue donor, go to

Dragon Boat Club Meets Wednesday

The Boundary Waters Dragon Boat Club has moved to a new day.

Those interested in paddling the Dragon Boat can meet every Wednesday night at the Sorting Gap Marina at 5:30 p.m.

You are asked to call NCDS in advance if you want to attend.

Crazy Daze In The Falls

It's Crazy Daze in International Falls.

Businesses will be have special sales during the day

There's also several activities planned in the downtown area including music, food booths and games running until 5 p.m.

Four Vye For Emo Fair Queen Title

RRVAS photo
 Four contestants have entered to become this year's Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society’s fair queen.

Ashley Croswell of Emo, Hailey Wirtz of Fort Frances, Madison Allan of Devlin and Kaitlyn Cottam of Nestor Falls will compete in the August 15th event.

They'll take part in several events including a meet and greet next Wednesday evening at the Emo Sportsfield.

Wilde Set To Record New Album

An Atikokan blues artist is getting ready to record her next album.

Sunday Wilde will head to North Dakota at the end of August.

It comes almost a year after releasing her last album that has topped the charts worldwide.

The new album is expected to be released before the end of the year.

Driver Nabbed For Impaired

A Lac La Croix First Nation man will make a court appearance next month after being charged with impaired driving.

The 33-year-old was charged early Saturday morning after OPP stopped a vehicle they had observed being driven in a suspicious manner in the downtown area of Fort Frances.

Treaty 3 Police Service Stats Fall

The Treaty Three Police Service says it's seen a significant reduction in the number of calls for service in the past year.

Numbers released in its annual report show police dealt with 88-hundred calls in 2012, a 21 per cent drop from 2011.

The Wabaseemung First Nations near Kenora is identified as the busiest community with with over 21 hundred calls for service in 2012.

First Nations Given Funding To Participate in E.A.

Two First Nations communities have received funding to participate in the environmental assessment process of a mining project in northern Ontario.

Attawapiskat and Aroland will share $48-thousand from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency for activities related to the proposed Eagle’s Nest Project.

NorOnt's proposed underground operation is located within the so-called Ring of Fire area.

Fire Activity Remains Low

The forest fire hazard in northwestern Ontario continues to remain low.

There are 35 active fires, 32 of which are being monitored by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

No fires are burning in the Rainy River district.

Consumers Warned About Insurance Firm

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario has issued a warning to consumers about an insurance company attempting to solicit business over the phone.

The Commission says individuals claiming to be with Sental Insurance have been targeting mostly Royal Bank of Canada clients.

There are asking for personal information in an effort to sell identity theft protection insurance on behalf of the bank.

The Commission says the firm is not associated with the bank nor is licensed to do business in Ontario.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Boy Killed In Rainy Lake Incident

A fourteen–year–old boy is dead following an accident within Voyageurs National Park.

The Koochiching County Sheriff's Office says emergency personnel were called out to the area of Diamond Island on Rainy Lake last night at about 6 o'clock regarding the boy found floating in the lake and unresponsive.

Briggs Anderson of Fergus Falls, Minnesota was eventually transported by air to hospital in Duluth where he later died.

The boy was with a group touring the lake by houseboat.

Plenty Of Blood Needed

The Canadian Blood Services is hoping to attract a lot of new donors for upcoming clinics in Fort Frances to help meet achieve this year's target.

The clinics are set for August 19th and 20th at the Fort Frances High School.

Spokesperson Mike Choi says they're hoping to collect more than 9-thousand units of blood this summer for use at hospitals in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario.

Choi says appointments can now be booked calling 1-888-2-donate or online through its website

Open House On Draft EA Report

Your opportunity to comment on a key document for a proposed gold mine near Barwick.

Rainy River Resources is holding an open house today to gather comment on a draft environmental assessment report.

Company vice-president Kyle Stanfield says close attention had been paid to such things as species at risk and water quality.

The open house at the Barwick Community Centre goes from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Legal Aid Gets Money

Legal Aid Clinics in Ontario are getting a funding boast from the province.

Thirty-million dollars will be doled out over the next three years for clinics.

In the first year, 70 per cent of the money will be used to expand the reach of Legal Aid Ontario's Family Law Service Centres, allowing more low-income families to access legal service.

OPG Told To Keep Power Plant Going

The Ontario Energy Board feels removing the Thunder Bay Generating Station would negatively impact the region's electricity system reliability.

The OEB has ordered the Ontario Power Generation to renew the plant's operating contract for the rest this year.

Wolf Hunt Quota Reduced

Minnesota wildlife officials are cutting the quota for the state's second wolf season by nearly half.

The target for hunting and trapping this fall and winter is 220, down 180 from last year.

The change comes after an annual Department of Natural Resources survey found the wolf population had dipped to an estimated 22-hundred animals.

Researcher Gets DNR Compromise

A Minnesota bear researcher has reached a compromise with the Department of Natural Resources to continue collaring bears for research purposes.

Lynn Rogers will be allowed to keep collars on ten bears, but can't hand-feed bears around his research center near Ely or webstream cameras places in dens.

A DNR spokesperson says the compromise allows the case to move to a state administrative law judge for a ruling.

College Seeks Candidate For Board Of Governors

Confederation College is looking to fill a vacant spot on its Board of Governors.

The three year term starts September 1.

Interested people can apply to Confederation College by August 31.

Bike Rodeo In Fort Frances

OPP will be testing the skills of young bicycle riders in Fort Frances.

A bike rodeo is planned for this Friday morning at the Fort Frances Library.

You're asked to call the Library to pre-register.

Adult Readers Wanted

Fort Frances Library is giving its adult readers an opportunity to read some of the top books in Canada.

The Forest of Reading program invites people to read one or more of 10 books selected by librarians across the province.

Librarian Janet Dell says they will then vote on their best.

The campaign goes until the end of October.

Youth Jobs Fund Revealed

Ontario's Liberal government will spend $195-million over the next two years on a youth jobs fund.

Premier Kathleen Wynne says the government was already working on the strategy when the New Democrats demanded a youth jobs fund in the last provincial budget.

Under the youth jobs program, employers will be eligible for up to $6,8000 to cover wages and training costs while the young workers could get up to one-thousand-dollars to cover tools  and transportation costs.

More Tests On Aboriginals Revealed

There's new information regarding tests conducted on aboriginal people decades ago.

Historical research shows government officials tested tuberculosis vaccines on impoverished aboriginal people during the 1930s.

The vaccine was successful and remains in use to this day.

Maureen Lux, a medical historian at Brock University, says it's another example of how officials used aboriginal people as test subjects and looked for cheaper solutions instead of fixing underlying problems.

Victim Avocates Want Voice In Court Case

Advocates for victims of residential school abuse say their voices are not being heard in a court case that's to decide what to do with documents from an investigation of the alleged abuse.

The federal government is asking asked the courts for help in deciding what to do with the documents which stem from a police investigation into abuse at a residential school in Fort Albany.

New Democrat MP Charlie Angus says advocates for the victims need to be represented in Ontario court, and the federal government should pay for them to be there.

Question Of The Week

Our poll doesn't suggest it, but there were strong crowds for the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship as it returned to the Sorting Gap Marina for the first in three years.

In response to a question on, 48 per cent of respondents had indicated they would not be taking in any of the activities.

This week we ask if the weather has deterred you ability to have a good summer.

New Board Sets First Public Meetings

The first ever open houses and public meetings for the newly formed International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board will be held later next month.

It will meet in International Falls August 20 before traveling to Kenora the next day.

The board was formed through the merger two existing groups to help the International Joint Commission identify issues about water for the entire boundary watershed,

Right To Union Child Care Providers Gets Court Approval

Union officials are applauding a federal judge's ruling which allows them to continue organizing home-based child care providers in Minnesota.

The judge ruled yesterday a pair of lawsuits seeking to halt the unionization effort were filed prematurely.

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5 spokeswoman Jennifer Munt says child care providers can now decide for themselves if they want to join a union.

Democrats who control the Legislature approved the union-organizing drive in May.

Charges For Fake 911 Calls

Pranksters who dial 911 without a real emergency to report face stiffer penalties under a Minnesota law hitting the books this week.

The law effective Thursday targets those who report a fictitious emergency to 911 dispatchers with the intent of luring authorities somewhere.

If the phony call results in a serious injury, it could mean felony charges.

Monday, July 29, 2013

FFCBC Champions

A pair of anglers well-known to northwestern Ontario are this year's Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championships.

Kenora's Jeff Gustafson and Bemidji's John Peterson came in on the final day of fishing with just over 20 pounds of bass, giving them over 55 lbs over the three days.

Gustafson says their catch Saturday came early in the day.

The Fort Frances team of Ryan Hyatt and Karl Wolff were a pound and a half back in second.

Fort Frances anglers Bryan Gustafson and Jamie Bruce were tops in the second division while Sean Good and Pete Badiuk earned the win in the third division.

Sorting Gap Marina Site Welcomed

It was a return to the Sorting Gap Marina for the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship after going indoors for the past three years.

Gary Rogozinski, a former chair, was among those happy to see it back on the waterfront.

While exact attendance figures aren't immediately know, the weigh-ins attracted strong crowds.

Kids Get Out On Lake

FFCBC photo
Missing from the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship this year was the Kids Pro tournament.

That lead to Missouri's Phil Bangert taking it upon himself to organize an informal event that allowed some of the Championship's anglers to take some local kids out for a day of fishing.

It attracted between 15 and 20 kids, some Bangert says have never been fishing or been on Rainy Lake.

Bangert hopes it will continue in some fashion in the future.

Bangert says he'd also like to give similar opportunities to seniors.

Fire At Fort Frances Mill

No major damage reported from a fire at Resolute Forest Products mill in Fort Frances yesterday.

Members of the Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service were called out at around  5 p.m. to deal with a stubborn blaze in the duct work in the grinding room.

Fire crews were on site for about four hours.

Operations at the mill, though, were not impacted.

MNR Fire Centres Get Upgrades

The Ontario Government is upgrading three forest fire response centers.

47-million dollars will be spent on upgrades to a facility in Sudbury, the Hailburton Fire Management Headquarters and a fire attack base in Armstrong.

Jails Full

New statistics show that nearly half of Ontario's jails are overcrowded.

Cells meant for two people at times hold three or more as a rising tide of inmates await their day in court.

Figures from The Ministry of Community Safety and Corrections show that on an average day last year,  14 of Ontario's 30 jails held more prisoners than they were designed for.

McCaig Wins Quest

Mike McCaig stole the show at Quest for the Best.

McCaig wowed the crowd with his rendition of "If I Were A Carpenter" to advance to the final sing-off against Larissa Desrosiers where the judges selected him as the overall winner.

People's choice winners were Erika Tymkin and Clinton Bruyere.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Treaty 3 Police Not Folding

 The newly appointed board for Treaty 3 Police Service says the service isn't going anywhere next month.

A statement issued says the 45 day notice given to officers last month has been misinterpreted as a notice the aboriginal police service is shutting down.

The Board states the notice is only a requirement in the event of possible layoffs.

The board adds that if the Service was to shut down, governments require a year's notice which has not given.

The board met for the first time yesterday with a representative of the officer union on hand.

County Opts To Pay For Full Amount For Jail Repairs

Koochiching County is opting to pay the full amount when it comes time to cover the costs of upgrades to a regional corrections center.

The County is on the hook for about 41-thousand dollars in a planned six-million dollar improvement to the Northeast Regional Corrections Center, north of Duluth.

St. Louis County will cover the bulk of the costs through bonding and has offered to include other Counties if they desire

Site For Kraft Celebration Tour Selected

A site has been selected for the upcoming Kraft Celebration Tour in Fort Frances.

Fort Frances Curling Club president Ron Silver says TSN opted for the Sorting Gap Marina.

The site will include a huge jumbotron and twenty-one different tent sites featuring games and activities and food booths.

Silver says they're now looking for about 82 volunteers to help with set up and tear down and man some of the booths.

Call the curling club if you are interested in helping out.

Hydro Outage

Some residents west of Fort Frances are without power this morning.

Hydro One is reporting about 20 residents living in the Crozier area without electricity related to a storm that passed through the area.

Thunderstorms, packing heavy rain, hail and high winds hit much of the borderland.

Mostly pea sized hail fell in the Fort Frances area.

Quest Goes Tonight

Twenty local performers take to the stage tonight in the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce sponsored Quest for the Best.

Atikokan Blues artist Sunday Wilde attends as one of three judges.

She'll be joined by 93.1 The Border's own Andy C and last year's Quest winner Brittany Hayes.

Doors of the event at the Sorting Gap Marina open at 6:30 p.m.

New Gold Extends Offer For Rainy River Resources

New Gold says it now has 86 per cent of all shares in Rainy River Resources in a planned take-over of the mining exploration company.

New Gold is giving shareholders, yet to take the cash-and-stock offer, until August 8th to accept.

The company says if it has at least 90 per cent of Rainy River share, it will acquire the rest through a compulsory acquisition.

Some Newly Acquired Safeway Stores Sold Off

Empire Company, which owns Sobeys stores in Canada, has struck a deal to sell some of its newly acquired Safeway properties in a sale-leaseback deal with property management company Crombie of Nova Scotia.

None of the stores impacted are in northwestern Ontario are impacted.

Bone Marrow Donors Sought

A drive is under way to persuade college-age people in Minnesota to be bone marrow donors.

The shortage of marrow donors is so acute that last year only about half of the 12,000 blood cancer patients requesting a donor received one.

One reason is doctors have found it hard to recruit younger people, whose cells are better able to fight cancer.

Union Welcoming New Police Service Board

A new police services board for the Treaty 3 Police Service is being welcomed by the union representing its officers.

Public Service Alliance of Canada's Judith Monteith-Farrell is expecting a better working relationship in trying to keep the Service from halting August 19.

Monteith-Farrell says the board has indicated a commitment to keeping the police service going.

Course Focusing On Terrorism Planned

A heightened sense of security is leading to a new program to be delivered at Rainy River Community College.

The college is partnering with Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids to deliver a two-year Strategic Security Studies program.

Coordinator Steve Kovacic says it will, in part, train students how to detect and deal with terrorist activities.

The program will be taught by instructors with military, Navy Seals or SWAT team backgrounds.

Kovacic estimates 51-thousand jobs available related to the course.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Don't Call OPP About Road Closures

OPP are asking the public not to call them if you need information about road closures.

Constable Anne McCoy says you should be calling 511.

McCoy says calls to the OPP Communication Centre only tie up lines and operators for those needing police assistance on other matters.

MPP Supports Expanding Power To Ombudsman

Ontario's Ombudsman has some local support in attempts to have more oversight into municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals.

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell says it makes sense that he would look after those areas.

Campbell says people are concerned about oversight in those sectors, and feel they've no where to turn when a problem arises.

Campbell believe Andre Marin does as good job and considers him one of the most respected civil servants in the province.

Forest Fire Now Contained

A large forest fire burning near Red Lake is now listed as being held.

The fire, 50 kilometers northwest of the northwestern Ontario town has burned more than 18-thousand hectares.

It started July 3rd by a lightning strike.

Rally Over Experiments Planned

Rallies are planned in several cities across the country today, including in Thunder Bay, to highlight native disgust over nutritional experiments performed decades ago on aboriginals.

Along with an apology, organizers are demanding the federal government release all documents that could reveal other such abuses.

New Police Services Board Appointment

A new executive has been appointed for the Treaty Three Police Services Board.

Eli Mandamin, chief of Shoal Lake #39 First Nation, becomes its chair.

Earl Klyne, chief of Seine River First Nation and Couchiching Chief Chuck McPherson are among those also appointed.

Unemployment Drops In Koochiching

A drop in the unemployment rate for Koochiching County.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says June rate came in at 8.2 per cent, down from 9 per cent in May.

More than two hundred jobs were created during during the month.

Species At Risk Illustrated

Science North photo
An opportunity to learn more about Species at Risk in Ontario.

Science North is visiting libraries in Fort Frances and Atikokan this week with an exhibit allowing people to learn about the species threatened and how we can help them survive.

Spokesperson Emily Kirton says there's some hand-on activities for the entire family and live animals..

The exhibit will be at the Atikokan Library today from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.